SOLOMON Islands is joining the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) at the China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market (COTTM) this week.
The Solomon Islands, Samoa and a private sector operator (The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort) from Tahiti is attending the three-day event at the China Outbound Tourism and Travel Market in Beijing.
A statement from SPTO said, SPTO who is being represented by the Pacific Trade and Investment Office in Beijing, will represent the other regional member countries.
The statement added that Fiji and Papua New Guinea will host their own booths and will contribute to a strong South Pacific presence at the trade show which is expected to include over 3000 Chinese trade buyers from leading outbound tour operators and travel agents as well as consumers and Chinese travel media agencies.
According to proprietary research conducted by the Attract China research team, it is predicted that in 2015, 140 million Chinese tourists will go abroad, spending more than $188 billion.
“Hence, China will play a key role in stabilizing the tourism industries in the Asia Pacific region and beyond,” the statement highlighted.
SPTO Chief Executive Ilisoni Vuidreketi said Chinese consumers, particularly middle income consumers, prefer to travel abroad rather than to domestic destinations, as they increasingly viewed such trips as a form of reward for their hard work during the year.
“At COTTM, we aim to promote increased awareness on the South Pacific destinations through the promotion of the South Pacific Specialist Programme to travel agents, which will enable them to better understand our island destinations when they sell holidays to their clients. SPTO has invested in translating the online specialist programme into Chinese in our bid to encourage more travel agents to become accredited South Pacific Specialists.
“China continues to be a growing source market for our region. There was a very encouraging increase of over 26,000 Chinese tourists into our region last year and COTTM provides us with a fantastic opportunity to market ourselves at the largest Chinese tourism trade show”, Mr. Vuidreketi stated.
“Since March 2015, we have also been running a social media campaign called „Where Is It‟ through WeChat, aimed at driving consumer appeal to our participating islands at COTTM and increasing motivational aspirations for our Pacific Island destinations to Chinese consumers. We also continue to work hand in hand with our partners in China, Travel Link Marketing and Pacific Islands Trade and Invest for such marketing efforts in China,” Mr. Vuidreketi added.
By MOFFAT MAMU